Chants, Highlanders collide with first place on the line

ccubase-marksThe 18th-ranked Coastal Carolina baseball squad hosts Radford in a key Big South three-game series this weekend (Friday at 6 pm, Saturday at 2 pm and Sunday at 2 pm) at Springs Brooks Stadium. Both the Chanticleers (26-10) and Highlanders (23-12) sit atop the league standings with identical 10-2 records.

Coastal Carolina and Radford have met on 88 previous occasions. While the Chanticleers own a commanding 64-24 advantage in the series – including a 32-13 advantage at home, the Highlanders have taken 3-of-the-last-5 from the Chants thanks to winning a pair of games at Pelicans Stadium in 2013. However, Coastal did win 2-of-3 games at Radford last season.

This year’s matchup will feature the top two offensive players in the conference – Coastal’s Anthony Marks and Radford’s Josh Gardiner. They rank first or second in the Big South in batting (Marks .400, Gardiner .396), hits (Marks 58, Gardiner 53), runs scored (Marks 42, Gardiner 38) and on-base percentage (Marks .470, Gardiner .479).

A strong pitching matchup Friday night will features Coastal’s Alex Cunningham (6-0, 2.60 ERA) versus Michael Boyle (6-2, 2.21 ERA) with opponents batting just .207 and .216, respectively, off the hurlers. Saturday’s matchup will be just as intriguing as Coastal’s Austin Kerr (7-0, 2.16 ERA) will face Dylan Nelson (5-2, 3.91 ERA).

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